Redeeming Love: How the Ukrainian Church Is Reaching Orphans During War

Every orphaned child in Ukraine has a name.

Yet because Ukraine’s rate of institutionalization is the highest in Europe, according to data from the European Union and UNICEF, it’s easy to think of orphans in terms of statistics.

Even before Russia invaded Ukraine, an estimated 250 children entered the orphanage system daily. Now, the war has uprooted millions of children, creating new orphans every day.

But they aren’t statistics—they’re children with a story, purpose, and future.

God knows every child’s name and has been at work in the Ukrainian Church to love them the way He loves them.

Watch how this family in Ukraine is saying yes to step out in faith and into the lives of children in need of a loving family—

Serhiy and Oksana’s Story

Even though it was the summer of 2022 and the war in Ukraine had been ongoing for months, Serhiy and Oksana knew God was leading them to adopt.

Serhiy shares, “Somehow, nothing slowed us down, and nothing scared us.”

Oksana understood firsthand the pain of losing both parents. She lost hers to alcoholism, and because her aunt cared for her, Oksana was able to avoid being sent to live in the orphanage. She wanted to extend this opportunity to another child.

I thought, just as my aunt lifted me up and got me on my feet, I will give a second chance to the children who come into my life.

Serhiy and Oksana needed to expand their 500-square-foot home to accommodate their quickly growing family, but they didn’t have the funds to make all the necessary updates. Stepping out in faith, they laid the foundation, and then something incredible happened.

Someone showed up with bricks.
And someone else brought supplies for a roof.

In Oksana’s words, “People just found us.”

But God knew where they were and what they needed. And He saw the way they were loving kids who were close to His heart.

Today, Serhiy and Oksana are raising 7 children for the glory of God, and they’re open to adopting more. The road isn’t easy, but in Oksana’s words—

“Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone for the sake of these kids. These children have brought so many positive changes to our family. Our family has become stronger.”

Children belong in families.

Two years ago, Ukrainian Minister of Social Policy, Maryna Lazebna, publicly said

“For every child who suffered from the nightmare of this war, we must provide a family, not rebuild orphanages.”

It has long been a belief and heartbeat at Lifesong that children belong in families.

We work to preserve families and prevent children from entering orphanages. But when that isn’t possible—because of the catastrophes of war or the tragedies of life in a broken world—we still believe children belong in families.

God is at work in the Ukrainian Church.

Last year, by the grace of God, Lifesong Ukraine celebrated 20 years of ministry. During the past two decades, we’ve reached children living in orphanages, helped young graduates transitioning into adult life, and served many of the most vulnerable people in Ukraine.

Last year, we served children in 31 locations and held 62 camp programs for vulnerable children.

Ultimately, Lifesong Ukraine continues to help break the orphan cycle through the love and truth of the Gospel.

But now—even during this time of unimaginable war and uncertainty—the Ukrainian Church is doing even more. They are adopting orphans, welcoming vulnerable families into the local church, and reaching children in difficult situations and conditions.

Lifesong Ukraine has helped over 300 children become adopted by families in the Church.

And they’re helping these families thrive. Lifesong Ukraine mentors families like Serhiy and Oksana so they don’t have to walk the adoption and post-adoption journey alone.

Serhiy and Oksana (center) with their mentors, Alexander and Tatiana

You can help Christian families in Ukraine adopt.

Serhiy and Oksana’s journey is a beautiful illustration that the call to care for vulnerable children isn’t limited to the right time or a select few. It’s a call for every follower of Jesus to step into the gap and extend love, grace, and Gospel hope to those who need it most.

Whether it’s through adoption, supporting families who are adopting, praying faithfully and urgently for children in need, or supporting ministries that advocate for orphans and vulnerable children, each of us can play a part in rewriting the painful narrative of orphaned children in Ukraine and around the world.

Every child bears the image of God and deserves the opportunity to thrive in a loving family. And we believe money should never be the reason a child does not have a family.

  • $1,000 funds one adoption in Ukraine.
  • $558 provides food, housing, medical care, and education to one child for an entire year.

Even as we pray for God to bring an end to the horrors of this current war, let’s join our brothers and sisters in the Ukrainian Church and continue bringing hope and restoration to those who need it most.

Give to help orphaned and vulnerable children know they are seen, known, and loved.

100% of your gift to Lifesong directly helps children in need. TMG Foundation and key partners cover our fundraising and administrative costs, so your entire gift goes where you want it to go.